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49.  Holy.cow.  I’ll be 49 in a few days.  How did that happen?  Why doesn’t it scare me?

Yes, I am entering my 49th trip around the bright shiny and I gotta tell you, I’m embracing every minute of every day that I have walked this rock.  I’ve earned every line, every wrinkle.  Probably every tear and every heartache.  I’ll tell you what else I’ve earned, every single moment of happiness and joy I’ve experienced in these past 48 trips.

See, it’s not always sunshine and roses.  I’m not always the best version of myself.  I’m a sinner and I’m forgiven.  I am loud, plus size and am equal parts sass and sadness.  I am quiet, I am bawdy…I am a bleeding heart, I am a conservative.  I am spiritual and I believe in science, all at once.

I’ve hurt people, I’ve been hurt.  I have shared secrets that I probably shouldn’t have and kept things to myself that I should have shared.  I laugh and cry at inappropriate times and completely miss the point other times.  I’ve lied and been lied to.  I’ve owned mistakes that I made or were perceived that I made…I’ve forgiven others for the same, whether they acknowledged it or not.  I’ve been a good friend, a great friend and sometimes a shitty friend.  No excuses, just my level best effort, most days.

I am a wife, a daughter, a sister and a mother.  Not the best at any of them, but I can never say I didn’t try.

All of this, for one thing…I am living my human experience.  Every day.

So, 49.  I’m not scared of you…I’ve been through a lot in these years.  No one single thing or single person has broken me…although there have been moments that I didn’t think I could survive, I have.  And with that survival, comes strength, resolve and lessons.

In this new year around the shiny thing, I am going to do something better than self love.  I am going to like me.  Like the wrinkles, the curves, the sadness behind my eyes and the shine in them when I am happy.  I am going to like that I am an emotional rollercoaster and an extroverted introvert.  I am going to like the fact that this is me, all of me and that I can only be the best version of me.

I won’t promise you that I will improve anything, eat better, exercise more, I won’t conquer my fear of heights or international travel (aka my imaginary kidnapping) I won’t take up a new hobby or yoga (well, maybe yoga)…but I will experience what this life on this rock offers me.  And I will do so with hope in my heart and forward motion.

I have left the past in the past, made my peace with mine and look towards the horizon…that’s where my future lies.

Let’s see what you’ve got 49…

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